WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

Last updated: Wednesday 1 April 2020  

We're determined to keep supplying you with fresh produce from all the small farmers and producers who you’ve supported over the years. As long as the farmers keep on farming (and delivering), we plan to carry on getting your veg to you.   

Please bear with us: Please be patient if we do not answer your calls or emails immediately – we are also juggling home working, staff absences and many new operational challenges. 

 

Click these links to go to specific updates:

Latest veg scheme Collection Point updates. Please check before setting out to collect your bags.

Latest farmers' market updates. Which stalls to expect this Saturday, online orders and pre-orders and how to keep safe when shopping.

Operational changes we're making to keep you safe.

 

 

Farmers' market

UPDATE: 30 March. The market will be open this Saturday, 4 April.

Thank you to all our customers who have been queuing so efficiently and mostly cheerfully (!) to get round the various stalls.

The market will be running this Saturday again providing fresh food to hundreds of Hackney residents but we will be enforcing the 2 metre distancing rules both outside and inside the market. This means we will be limiting the numbers of people allowed into the market at any one time. We have plenty of food and all the normal stalls are there. Please shop as quickly as possible, don't bring children unless absolutely necessary and leave bicycles outside the market. Please note the market tends to be much quieter and queues shorter after 12 noon, so please consider coming later.  

Though it is tempting, please don't stockpile. We will remain open as an essential service every weekend. We will do everything in our power to ensure you can shop safely! If you are in a high-risk or vulnerable group, asking friends or neighbours to pick up produce for you might be the best option at the moment.

If you'd like to receive weekly email updates about the farmers' market and other GC activities, please use the Subscribe to our mailing list box at the bottom of this page.

Provisional stall list for Saturday 4 April: 

  • Veg: Ripple Farm Organics, Wild Country Organics*, Brockmans, Mushroom Table
  • Bread: Astons Bakehouse
  • Meat & fish: Galileo Farm**, Yorwarth's Fresh Fish
  • Dairy: Bath Soft Cheese, Hook & Son
  • Prepared foods/products: Niko B Chocolates; Global Fusion - cakes, fritters; Hackney honey from Eric Beaumont

Wild Country Organics will be operating their market stall as normal at our market this Saturday and beyond. You will be able to buy produce in the usual way. (Customers who have previously ordered using the Click and Collect option on the Wild Country Organics website will be able to pick up their bags from the market by queuing up with other customers at a safe 2 metre distance.)

** Message from Fabienne about meat and egg orders:

Galileo Organic Farm is happy to accept email orders until 12 noon each Wednesday. Please be sensible with the quantity that you order, including no more than 2 boxes of eggs.

All orders should be collected from the market between 12 noon and 2.30pm on Saturday to avoid the rush first thing in the morning.

Your order will be kept in my fridge van and so will remain safe. You need to join the queue and respect the 2m social distancing. Also, please respect that I have animals to care for and do not want to bring the virus back to the farm.

I look forward to hearing from you via email with your orders and seeing you at the weekend from a safe distance.

PaMa and Hempen will not be able to attend the farmers' market for the next few weeks, but you can order from them online through these links: PaMa online shop and Hempen online shop.

 

Collection point information

We’ll issue text alerts and emails as needed for particular collection points but this is the first place to check for updates. 

If you need to change your order or book holiday, please try to do this by 5pm on Wednesday, the week before. Our suppliers have brought forward their ordering deadlines, so we are doing the same. This will help us keep you supplied with the best available fruit and veg. Thank you.

Please don't arrive early to pick up your veg bag - it will not be ready and you will be putting our staff and yourselves at risk.

If you are a member of the veg scheme and need to contact us, please email us. Bear in mind that we are receiving an unprecedented number of queries and are all working overtime to keep the scheme running smoothly for our 1400 members. We'll get back to you as soon as we can. 

Can't collect your bag? If you have to stay home, you're welcome to send a friend, neighbour or family member to collect your bag for you. Just make sure they have the collection instructions and padlock codes they need. We are looking into whether we will be able to offer emergency home deliveries or a members buddy system if you don’t have anybody to help you, and will keep you updated here. 

 

Castle Climbing Centre
Green Lanes, N4 2HA  

UPDATE 1 April: the climbing centre is closed, but the collection point is being opened specifically for veg bag collection on Thursday 3pm - 5.30pm, Friday 9am - 5.30pm. Sorry we can't offer Saturday collection at the moment. Please remember to close the doors and gate when you leave.

Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

Core Clapton - Closed

UPDATE 1 April: Core is closed this week. Please collect from The Old Fire Station, 61 Leswin Road, N16 7NX. Collection times: Wednesdays 3.30pm-9pm (staffed 3.30pm-7.30pm), Thursdays 8am-9pm, Fridays 8am-5pm. See text for collection instructions.

Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden  

UPDATE 1 April: Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is officially closed, but will be open limited hours for veg collection only. Thursday 26 March: 4pm - 6pm. Friday 27 March 3pm - 5pm. See email from GC about how to contact Brian and collect your bags. Brian and Marie are opening the garden as a huge favour to us. Please don't ask them to open at other times.

Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

e5 bakehouse - Closed
Mentmore Terrace, E8 3PH  

UPDATE 1 April: e5 Bakehouse is now closed (for at least 3 weeks), so it will no longer be possible to collect from there. 

Unless you have made other arrangements with us, please collect from The Old Fire Station, 61 Leswin Road, N16 7NX. Collection times: Wednesdays 3.30pm-9pm (staffed 3.30pm-7.30pm), Thursdays 8am-9pm, Fridays 8am-5pm.

Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible, as advised by World Health Organisation.

 

Hackney Downs Studios  
Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT

Open as usual. Collection times: Wednesdays 8pm-10pm, Thursdays 8am-8pm; Fridays 8am-8pm. Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

Hatch  
8 Mackintosh Lane, Homerton, E9 6AB 

Open as usual. Collection times: Wednesdays 7.30pm-10pm, Thursdays 8am-10pm, Fridays 8am-10pm. Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

Hackney City Farm  
Hackney Road, E2 8QA 

UPDATE 1 April, 4.30pm: We've just heard that Hackney City Farm is reducing its opening hours. Veg collection times will now be Weds 6-8pm, Thurs 4.30pm-7.30pm, Fri 11am-4pm. For this week only you can also collect on Saturday 11-4. Get Loose unpackaged shop is also open during these hours. Sorry for any inconvenience caused; let us know if this means you won't be able to collect your bags this week. 

Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible. Please only go into the veg collection room two at a time - we will have extra staff to help manage numbers of people collecting at any one time. We will not be selling bread and eggs as we want to minimise queuing times. You will be able to access the veg cupboards on Thursday and Friday; please keep a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

Mother Earth Albion Road  
5 Albion Parade, Albion Road, N16 9LD

UPDATE 31 March: Mother Earth are thinking about amending shop opening times, so they suggest collecting during the following times to be on the safe side.

Collection times: Wednesdays 5pm – 6.30pm; Thursdays 11am – 6.30pm; Fridays 11am – 6.30pm (please note later mornings and earlier evenings)
Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

Mother Earth Newington Green  
103 Newington Green Road, N1 4QY

UPDATE 31 March: Mother Earth are thinking about amending shop opening times, so they suggest collecting during the following times to be on the safe side.

Collection times: Wednesdays 4pm – 6.30pm, Thursdays 11am – 6.30pm, Fridays 11am – 6.30pm  (please note later mornings and earlier evenings).

Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

Organic & Natural  
191 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 8EG

No changes planned. Collection times: Wednesdays 3pm-8pm, Thursdays 10am-8pm, Fridays 10am-8pm, Saturdays 10am-12pm. Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

The Old Fire Station 
61 Leswin Road, N16 7NX 

Update 1 April: To speed up veg collection and keep everyone safe, we are shutting our urban farm shop, so there will no bread, eggs or extras for sale from this week. Sorry. (And e5 Bakehouse has shut down temporarily, so there is no bread anyway.) We'll also ask you to collect from the main Fire Station through the red double doors. Please see signs and stewards for details.

Collection times: Wednesdays 3.30pm-9pm (staffed 3.30pm-7.30pm), Thursdays 8am-9pm, Fridays 8am-5pm. At Wednesday's staffed bag pick-up, please keep a distance of 2 metres between you and other people. Follow signs and stewards and don't be offended if Bren and the team don't have time to talk. Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands and covering coughs and sneezes. Please leave chidren at home if possible and don't bring bikes into the yard.

 

Redmond Centre  - Closed

UPDATE 26 March, 2.30pm: The Redmond Centre is closed. We will deliver your bags to the nearby Castle Climbing Centre instead. The collection point will be open specifically for veg bag collection on Thursday 3pm - 5.30pm, Friday 9am - 5.30pm. We have sent you a text with collection details. Once you are at the Castle Climbing Centre, please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible. Please rememer to shut doors and the gate when you leave.

 

Round Chapel Old School Rooms  
Old School Rooms, 2 Powerscroft Road, E5 0PU

Open as usual. Collection times: Wednesdays 1pm-9pm, Thursday 8.30am-9pm, Friday 8.30am-5pm. Please bear with us and hold off collecting until 2pm if you can. Help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

St John of Jerusalem 
Lauriston Road, E9 7DH  

No changes expected. Collection times: Thursdays 11am-7pm, Fridays 10am-7pm, Saturdays: 10am-1pm. Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

St Peter de Beauvoir 
Northchurch Terrace, De Beauvoir Town, N1 4DA 

No changes expected. Collection times: Thursdays 1pm-8.30pm; Fridays 8am-8.30pm. Please help us all keep safe by maintaining clean hands, and keeping a 2 metre distance from other people as far as possible.

 

Signing up to our scheme for the first time?

We have had an unprecedented number of new subscriptions to our scheme. Please expect delays as we process new subscriptions, and if you have signed up after 16 March, please do not assume you will have a bag to collect until we confirm this by email or text.

If you are trying to sign up and no collection points are available in the drop-down on the sign-up page, it is because they are temporarily at capacity. We are working to organise extra deliveries, processes and capacity and will open collection points again as soon as possible. Sorry, we do not have a waiting list. Please check the sign-up page regularly to see whether any collection points are available, and continue to check this page for full updates on our service.

 

GC’s heightened hygiene precautions 

Growing Communities staff are working hard to protect our members, market customers, ourselves and our families from the Covid-19 virus  

We’ve been taking extra precautions in our packing and delivery operations over the last couple of weeks to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus.

Veg packing: All staff have been trained in Coronavirus hygiene including hand washing and how to deal with sneezes. All staff wash hands before the pack starts and wear gloves while packing. Staff know not to touch their faces or phones during the packing. All staff wash hands according to official public health guidelines before and after eating or any breaks. We have minimised staff in the office to avoid unnecessary foot traffic during the pack. We’re quarantining your returned plastic bags to eliminate risk of contamination, and we are temporarily removing swap boxes. 

Veg delivery: The delivery van is cleaned between each delivery trip and delivery staff have been trained in how to deliver veg to pick-ups to minimise the potential for virus transmission. 

Market: We will be ensuring that people keep their distance, and are spacing out the stalls to allow for quicker shopping and more spaced out queues. Stallholders are offering cardless transactions wherever possible and have their own hand sanitisers. We no longer offer samples of produce at the market.  

Our farm and growing sites: Our growers are washing hands and tools regularly, cleaning gloves frequently and have been trained in Coronavirus hygiene including how to deal with sneezes. 

Please help us! The veg scheme operates via public collection points so we ask you to take all precautions for public spaces including bringing your own hand sanitiser or sanitiser wipes to wipe your hands after collecting your bags from the storage cupboards/staff.  Please remember to wash your hands after unpacking your veg (and fruit) at home as well as washing all fruit and veg before use as usual.